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BATTLE OVER THE WORDS "MADE IN THE USA" FOR NEW BALANCE

     In Boston, Chris Reidy examines New Balance's fight with the
FTC over the use of the words "Made in the USA" on their shoes.
Last September, the FTC filed a complaint against New Balance
because the company uses imported soles thus making the "Made in
the USA" label deceptive.  New Balance Chair Jim Davis contends
that because most of the shoe is made in the U.S., his company
has earned the right to use the "Made in the USA" label.  New
Balance and the FTC are set to go to court in July over the
issue, "and the result could affect U.S. manufacturers making
everything from cars to computers to feather dusters."  Davis
says the reason New Balance has to import the shoes' soles from
China is that the technology to make soles for running shoes
"simply does not exist in the United States."  Davis notes that
the upper portion of the shoe, which accounts for 70-80% of its
value, is made in the U.S.  Because an FTC victory could have
"wide ramifications," some believe the FTC is looking to
establish precedent "that would give it ammunition to go after
larger targets" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/4).
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